While crews were preparing part of Main Street in Hamilton for repaving, they were surprised to find old trolley tracks beneath the roadway. Segments were cut out to be given to the Butler County Historical Society. PROVIDED

Trolley memories roll after rails uncovered below Hamilton street

Those memories rolled back for him and others recently when contractors working on the intersection of Main Street with Millville and Eaton avenues were excavating part of Main before repaving it and came across some of the trolley tracks beneath Main.

Brown, 56, grew up in Hamilton and is a 1981 Hamilton High School graduate. He has operated The Little Woodshop on Main for almost 14 years at 571 Main St, where he rebuilds, refurbishes and repairs furniture, architectural pieces and many other objects people take to him for help.

Brown was outdoors talking with contractors a couple of weeks ago because they asked him about the natural-gas service his business receives, “and while we were out there discussing it, they were out there ripping out the middle lane, getting it ready so they could pave it.

“While they were excavating it out, the guy hooked onto the end of a train rail.”

He estimates the rails were 10 to 12 inches below the roadway.

He asked for a part of that history.

“The piece I have is like 30 inches long, and it’s bolted down so it looks like creosote oak, about three inches thick,” he said. “I know it’s oak because I’m a wood shop guy.

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“It’s got to weigh 100 pounds, every bit of it,” partly because it’s caked in concrete. Brown took photos and looked Friday morning, “and there’s like 78 shares. That’s pretty good.”

The city called the construction company a few days later and asked workers to cut off a couple of other segments of the rails so they can be donated to the Butler County Historical Society.

“They’re laying the blacktopping right now — it’s so beautiful,” Brown said recently as westbound traffic on Main Street was detoured while the blacktopping work was moving ahead.

Brown, meanwhile, is looking forward to the 25-foot-tall metal sculpture that is planned for the intersection next year, with donations being raised privately. He will be able to look out his shop window and see it.

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A week before Halloween last year, when lots of orange street cones were lined up along Main Street, Brown bought 60 trick-or-treating pumpkin buckets, cut holes in the bottoms and chopped the handles off. He and his daughter “in the middle of the night dropped one of them pumpkin buckets on every single cone all the way down the entire construction site.”

“It looked so cool as you drove by, because all these pumpkins perfectly in a row, sitting right in the middle of the cones, halfway down,” he said.

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